Alan Poettcker: Making it in the music biz

Chilliwack's Alan Poettcker, 27, as featured in The Chilliwack Progress Forty Under 40.

Alan Poettcker.

Sardis Secondary grad Alan Poettcker, better known as the bassist of power-pop band These Kids Wear Crowns, remembers the phone call that changed everything.

They were invited to Toronto to appear on DisBand the Much Music TV reality show. That drew industry big-wigs and catapulted them into the power-pop stratosphere — after being signed to record label Capitol/EMI the following year.

“It hasn’t stopped since that phone call in 2009,” he says.

Their latest single is This Party Never Stops, and that could be the band’s theme song in some ways. They’ve been back and forth across Canada 10 times. They’ve experienced screaming fans, photo-ops, limos, and red carpet walks.

But several band members still call Chilliwack home.

Poettcker, 27, was born in Edmonton and moved to Chilliwack when he was in Grade 4.

He and his high-school buddy, leader singer Alex Johnson, write most of the songs along with Matt Vink and the other band members. He learned the finer points of bass guitar from music teacher Barry Eggen at Vedder Middle.

The band has played across North America, Australia and Singapore in the last two years. Their record went gold in Canada and platinum in Australia.

Being able to come home to Chilliwack to decompress from the road is much appreciated, and it keeps him grounded.

Poettcker says he likes to hang with friends and family, grab some Jim’s Pizza or go for Korean at the Fireside Grill.

A night of bowling at the Chillibowl is not unheard of and Cultus Lake is a favourite spot. Chilliwack is also where he writes and produces, in the home studio.

“Literally I get home and sit in the studio and record and write,” he says. “Sometimes it’s not easy or happy.”

All the money he’s earned so far from music has pretty much gone back into the recording studio for gear.

“I’m reinvesting it all into my career.”

The secret, if there is one, to making it, is all about the songwriting.

Without excellence in song craft, he says, don’t even bother booking the photo shoot or going out on tour anywhere.

He’s proud of coming from Chilliwack and happy the Fraser Valley has become a hotbed for other young performers like Marianna’s Trench, Hedley and Carly Rae Jepsen.

Poettcker figures he’ll just keep doing what he’s been doing.

“I’m always writing and producing songs for other people.”

No time to rest. They’re back in Australia touring with Limp Bizkit and System of a Down. “I’m looking forward to it.”